Feature Articles: The Green Scene

Causes that help needy children are always close to people’s hearts and your customers are no exception. Make yours the go-to shop by stocking well-made items that look amazing and do great things for the earth and its people. You can be a retail superhero by carrying soaps and socks that save the world. SoapBox Soaps donates one bar of soap to a needy child for every bar purchased. PACT picks a different cause each season and for this spring/summer, it has teamed up with Whole Kids Foundation to develop sustainable gardens.

What really moves a product or service? Is it the fancy packaging? Or is it the utility of the item? When it comes down to it, what makes something a great buy depends on the individual. The power of a product to move one person is what makes it great — the appeal to the uniqueness inside. When a product can speak to many different kinds of people, then you have a profitable winner. Specialty clothing companies that design just for children — such as Indikidual — focus on the fact that each child is unique. With adult fashions currently trickling down into the children’s market, Indikidual goes beyond the trendy to target the individuality of the child. Focusing on primary colors and eco-friendly fabrics, newcomer Indikidual delivers edgy clothing with lots of personality.

Upon retirement from military careers, Susan and David Rabern were looking for a way to bring something of value to their community. Susan had a strong family heritage of knitting, and pairing that with their social conscience, they purchased Oak Tree Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and started raising alpacas. One of their businesses, Shenandoah Fiber, brings the finest fibers to the spinning and knitting community. Their sister business, Provenance Mill Clothiers, allows them to witness these fibers being transformed into the softest, most luxurious garments for children.

For a very young man’s look that is both stylish and slightly retro, check out sweaters from Loop Collection. The company was founded by two knit designers from Brooklyn who adore vintage looks combined with top-quality workmanship. Styles are reminiscent of days gone by, but the materials and fabrication are strictly of the present time. Many of the items offered by Loop are knit with recycled cotton, eliminating harsh chemical dyeing processes and greatly reducing land use which, in turn, cuts way back on the need for fertilizers and pesticides.

Teething is one of the most dreaded ordeals for a new parent. Not only are the little ones up all night and miserably drooling, but inevitably everything from a dog toy to a finger becomes an opportunity for the child to chomp. While many teething rings are functional, they’re just not that much fun. Given the choice, the little tooth-grower is always going to go for something that looks like a toy, not a mini life preserver. So what’s a parent to do if they want a safe option that does the job and is fun enough to keep their child’s attention? Try the Suri the Octopus and Friends line of teething toys by Mayapple Baby.

Many children are at least a bit afraid of the dark, which can make bedtime less peaceful. Kids are prone to nightmares and terrors, making it hard for them to either fall asleep or stay in a restful state. A lack of deep, restful sleep can lead to all sorts of health issues. How can parents help their children — and others less fortunate than themselves — enjoy a more restful sleep? SolPals, a company that develops solar-powered nightlights, not only harnesses the energy of the sun in a fun way for children, but also donates to those less fortunate

Two challenges for parents with young children: mealtime and craft time. The process of keeping little ones occupied, entertained, and engaged is difficult in either case. So why not offer combinations that go that extra mile to make your customers smile? Make mealtimes matter and craft time count with great products kids love. Once your customers use Yummy Dough or Kiddy Platter, they’ll be clamoring for more at your store. Be smart and stock solutions from Smarty Parents.

There is a clear relationship in the improvement of hand-eye coordination through the manipulation of individual puzzle pieces. Another bonus comes in the cultivation of patience. Children who work on puzzles understand that the completion of the project requires a time investment, making it easier for them to approach school and real-life problem-solving situations. According to research appearing in the September 2012 edition of Science, early childhood experiences are particularly important, making it the ideal time to stock up on fun, educational toys that enhance mental development, like those from Red Fish Toys.

Worker B, a Minneapolis-based company, goes beyond just supplying quality organic skin products –– it also keeps its own bees. Quality ingredients form the foundation of Worker B’s success, since all of them are either organic or GMO-free. Worker B’s mission is simple: to help people with common skin problems. There is a large contingent of folks who cannot get relief for skin conditions from conventional treatments. Worker B is there for them with a natural skin line that contains no toxins, fillers or petrochemicals.